Media Relations

Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT: Kristine McGrath

FAU Launches Strategic Academic Enhancement Initiative

BOCA RATON (September 11, 2008) – Florida Atlantic University has announced a proposal to launch a comprehensive six-component strategic academic enhancement initiative that includes the development of an endowment that will be used in future years to fund strategic issues.

“This academic enhancement initiative is so important to the fulfillment of our key strategic goals and objectives,” said FAU Provost John Pritchett.   “FAU will be better able to serve our students and faculty, and grow the stature and reputation of the university.”

            FAU’s enhancement initiative features the following:

  • Fostering student success – this will fund new freshman learning communities and living learning communities, as well as double the tutoring activities in lower division core courses, enhance supplemental instruction programs, promote undergraduate participation in research and establish a master teacher program.
  • Strengthen information technology teaching learning infrastructure – this will fund the replacement of 300 student-used computers at the university each year, expand the number of full electronic classrooms available to students and expand the distance learning capabilities at the university.
  •   Strategic investment in research - this will establish a fund to provide set up support for future faculty hires in strategic areas, provide stipend supplements to recruit and retain graduate students in key research areas, and will establish a fund to support patent applications to protect university-developed intellectual property.
  • University-wide academic enhancement – this will augment activities in middle schools and community venues to promote academic preparation in underserved populations.
  • Establishment of the academic enhancement endowment – an endowment will be created to fund future strategic initiatives and to serve as a source of matching funds for future private philanthropic support of the University.   The endowment proposal calls for providing an average of $780,000 for each of the next five years and providing an average of $1.12 million for years six through 10 to the endowment fund. At the end of the first five years, the endowment fund should be valued at more than $3.9 million, and at the end of ten years, it should be valued at more than $12 million.
  • Rewarding faculty and staff contributions to FAU’s mission – this will provide a pool of funding to augment the compensation for all eligible FAU faculty and staff.

Funding for all components of the initiative will be generated by the lease of FAU’s excess broadband bandwidth capacity to Clearwire Corporation for up to $173 million over 30 years.   The lease, which was made for an initial 10 year term and will result in the creation of a WiMAX wireless network, is possible since technological innovation has enabled the university to reduce its reliance on its bandwidth’s present configuration.

“The University’s ability to lease a portion of its bandwidth capacity gives our students and faculty a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said FAU President Frank T. Brogan.   “We can now invest in the success of our academic endeavors and see years of funding at a time when traditional resources are shrinking.”




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